I've eaten lots of Vietnamese pork rolls over the years. I love the crunch of the freshly baked roll, the rich slather of paté contrasting with the crisp carrot and cucumber, the mix of who knows what sort of cold cuts, topped off with a hit of chilli, coriander and special sauce. Always made fresh to order and never overpriced.
I reckon the roll I had for lunch today is the best I've ever had. Go to the Lai Hot Bread shop at 12 Pratt Street Moonee Ponds between 7am and 4pm any Saturday or Sunday and taste for yourself.
My roll was so good that I took The Bloke back for one and photographed it. He told me the meat pies were pretty fine too, though perhaps a touch underseasoned.
I loved the generosity of the fillings, and the addition of a pork meatball to complement the cold cuts. The balance of flavours was just right for me, with a real chilli kick and plenty of fresh coriander . I missed the fish sauce flavour but the the meatball juices were a great alternative. At $5 this is 'V for value' as well as 'Y for yum'.
It isn't just me who thinks it's a great pork roll. The next customer told me she drove out of her way to go to the Lai Bakery regularly. If you know another contender for Melbourne's best, please add a comment.